Armidale Eisteddfod Composition Section 2019

Congratulations to Sophia Mackson who won the “overall” prize from the Adjudicator, Sydney based Luke Byrne. Her String Quartet work was incredibly sophisticated and reflected her understanding of this genre. It was also played very well by our talented String staff from NECOM.

When I set up this section in the Armidale Eisteddfod, I did it because Composing is a learning experience which every classroom teacher covers with students in the classroom.
This year we saw a resurgence of interest with many entries, especially from Elective Music students.

Year 12 Course 2 students have to present a two-minute composition to external examiners and it’s usually submitted in the September of the HSC year. The Armidale Eisteddfod provides them with a fantastic opportunity for the following:

* They can submit a work into the Eisteddfod which could represent the basis of a work to be presented in September for HSC marking (in some cases the work is almost finished at this point). This timing allows students the opportunity to make changes without rushing.
* Students who are studying subjects which require a number of practical components (eg Music, Drama and Art) will not have pressure on them around the pivotal time of the year.
* The Adjudicator’s comments can be submitted as part of the “Composition Portfolio” and this adds weight to the content.
* For students to hear other students’ works at this time of the year is inspirational and inspiration is an important part of the artistic experience.
* The Composer’s lecture is also a valued part of the process. They inevitably make an overall comment on the submitted works and this is useful.


AMTA members have always supported this part of the Eisteddfod knowing that their students can only benefit from submitting works.

The community attending the evening is always amazed at the submissions and the fact that it is open to all school students and community members makes it more interesting.

Personally, I believe the process of creating a work allows the students to learn so much about the subject of Music. It also helps teachers learn a lot more about how to teach Composition. It is a win-win situation!
We hope that next year, Primary teachers will have a go at working on some Composition tasks. This section often has a small candidature. If any teacher wants assistance, they just need to contact NECOM.


Deidre Rickards OAM